Photo by Salt Water New England

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Question for the Community: Christmas Tipping?

Photo by Salt Water New England
Every year, many ask about Christmas tipping.   Whom do you tip, and how much?  How has your approach to tipping changed over the years?

10 comments:

  1. Being a native Manhattanite, I got my tipping advice from my parents. I keep a list of my doormen, conceirge, handymen, and superintendent and record how much I have given over the years. Usually about $250 to each doorman and handyman, as they do the real bulk of the work and I interact with them daily. The conceirge and super get about $200. I put it in an envelope with their name and give it in person individually when I see them, and try not to get them together. I try to be personal about it, it really is something that should be because the service industry, especially in NY, can be a nightmare to work in and these folks really make an impact on our day to day life.

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  2. The above "native Manhattanite" pretty well covers the NYC apartment building tipping scenario. Though some would give the largest amount to the super. The list of doormen, concierges, etc can easily top 20. People have been known to lose sleep for fear they didn't tip the super or the handyman enough... Now that we live in "the country" the tipping list is shorter; postal workers (be careful they have a $20 maximum gift level and you know what some postmasters are like), barbers and hairdressers, your seamstress, car repairman, the butcher (f you have one), a favorite waitress or waiter are a given. The length of one's list might depend also on how much work one does oneself around the house and how much of one's own food they produce.

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    1. Thank God for the country... saving thousands every Holiday Season! But the list can still be quite long.... you forgot the gardeners, snow powers, local voluntary firehouse ( they not only could save your burning barns but also do much community services), car/truck repair shop, etc... The major difference is that gifts of money are appreciated not for the amount but for the thoughtfulness.....

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  3. I am a member of a private golf club and while the restaurant is officially "tipping voluntary because we pay a better wage rate," I always tip as well. At Christmas, I write a cash check to each member of the restaurant staff who's served me during the year. Those who have not waited on me don't get tipped, while those who did, do. I don't like the club's policy of a holiday tipping pool because then, the gratuity is simply divided up. I prefer to reward people for their good service, not provide money for some neo-socialist money pool divided equally.

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    1. I'm sure the staff who have had the honor of waiting on you appreciate the grand public gesture of your handwritten "cash check," and those who didn't have that honor this year wait humbly eagerly for a chance at it next year. At all costs, "neo-socialist money pools" must be avoided. Tips are far too widely dispensed, aren't they. Ask anyone who works in the service industry.

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  4. We live in a medium sized city in a house so we don't have a lot of services here for the care and upkeep of our home. I suppose I should tip my husband who does most of the repairs himself!

    Outside of our home we tip:
    - My manicurist (given at last appt. before the holidays - $50.00 cash in a card)
    - This year I had to switch hairdressers and don't have a steady rapport with one yet but I'd tip my hairdresser the same way/amount as my manicurist most years.
    - My Facialist (same as manicurist...)
    - The Postman (Set in a bag hanging from our mailbox with a note - $20/cash in a card and a box of baked goods)
    - The Housekeeper (Handed personally at last appt. before the holidays - $150.00 cash in a card)
    - The housekeeper at work (Pooled from all employees, office buys a card, $40.00/per housekeeper - we have two - this is the upper end of what is socially acceptable at work - I'd love to leave more!)

    - ER

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  5. I'm not a fan of tipping everyone who provides a "service" or to government employees (sorry Postman), but only to those who provide a "service" on a regular basis. Accordingly, I would tip housekeepers/cleaners, gardeners, hairdressers, manicurists, and the like, doormen, etc. I wouldn't necessarily tip my mechanic or plowman

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  6. At a club that I am using consistently, I give to the general holiday pool. Clubs of all sorts are finding it more difficult to keep decent staff (and decent members for that matter), because they can go down the road and earn triple in a good restaurant, particularly in an urban environment. General pools give the person who does not come in to contact with members, necessarily, the shot at some extra money. They help make the magic happen at the club, and should not be cut out. If there are some particularly good people on staff I tip them extra on top of the gerneral pool to show appreciation. If I am a non-resident member, I don't give to the holiday pool, as I feel my dues are icing on the cake for the club. Beyond the obvious of hotels, I tip if I stay with friends or family that have help. Postman, plowman, or any one who has made life a little easier should be in my thoughts during the holiday season. As far as approach to giving, well that is determined by how much money I have got. In boom years, those who have, should give abundantly in relation to what they have. Thoughtfulness is always appreciated and stinginess is always remembered. In bust years, it doesn't really have to be monitary. If you don't have any money to give, a smile and a warm, genuine thank you can last with a person through the year. Giving of oneself in any form is a distiction of class. Lastly, this picture reminds me so much of my grandmother who used to bring me to the Palm Court. The gilt and red is a little more vibrant than it was in those days.

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  7. I tip those who care for my children the most....

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  8. I also want to add that I had a conversation with my parents about this thread after posting. Growing up, my parents had a fully staffed household (with three full time, and four part time individuals). I asked what their tipping conventions were at the time and they said they didn't tip full time household employees, they did Christmas bonuses that were 10% of the salary or more if extraordinary services were rendered. They also purchased gifts for any spouses/children. (They remember American Girl Dolls and Lego sets for kids being popular in the 90s, luxury leather goods for spouses were always a hit, too.) This kind of household staffing, of course, a very, very unusual thing for most Americans, including myself. I make nowhere near what my parents do and have a very different life and have fewer security concerns so I don't expect to have a full time employee ever but we do want to make sure that we treat those who make our lives easier and happier the right way, so that means Christmas gifts and tipping!

    - ER

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